A Cryptic Message

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The above postcard, postmarked six P.M., 10 August 1909, contains a cryptic message from S.S.H. to Miss Julia Fowler of 1310 Myrtle Avenue, Baltimore MD.

Hear’s one for
luck hoping that
you have changed
your mind about
a certain subject
Will see you to-
morrow night.
S.S.H

We may happily assume Julia did change her mind “about a certain subject” because she married Samuel Stewart Hoopper (1884-1972) on 7 June 1910. The wedding took place at the Third Reformed Church in Baltimore with the Reverend Clayton H. Ranck officiating.

In the 1910 Census Julia Leas Fowler (1886-1974) was unemployed and living at 1310 Myrtle Avenue, Baltimore, with her father, Isaac Fowler (1853-1922) , her mother, Julia Amelia Leas (1857-1932), and her sister, Lotta A. Fowler (1882-1938). She graduated from Western High School in 1905 and probably followed in her mother’s footsteps by attending Western Maryland College (McDaniel College).

Stewart, as he was known, was the son of Samuel James Hoopper (1861-1862) and Susan Lee Stewart (1862-1943). Stewart was an accountant by trade and a Mason. He served on the board of the Baltimore Coin Club. He was an amateur photographer and cache of his photographs from the early 20th Century was donated to the Maryland Historical Society in 1978.

Julia and Stewart had one child, Julia Fowler Hoopper (1913-2004). She never married and lived with her parents until they died. A graduate of the Maryland Normal School (Towson University), she was a teacher and librarian in Baltimore City public schools.

Stewart, Julia, and Julia were modest people who lived quiet lives. That doesn’t mean they had no impact. The esteemed newspaperman Jacques Kelly of The Baltimore Sun lived next door to the Hoopper family when he was a boy and occasionally mentioned them in his columns. In 1999 he wrote about Julia Fowler Hoopper’s Easter rituals and you can read that here. In September 2004 he wrote a lovely memorial to Julia Fowler Hoopper and I highly recommend you go here to read it.

Below is the front of Stewart’s postcard. I purchased the postcard at an antique store on The Avenue in Hampden, the coolest neighborhood in Baltimore.

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A Cryptic Message

Charles Albert Britcher, Jr

britcher-front

The inscription on the back of this photograph reads, “Charles Britcher (neighbor of Ruth Wilkinsburg)”. I know what you’re thinking. I thought the same thing: How do I find a Charles Britcher and a Ruth Wilkinsburg who are neighbors?

britcher-back

It turns out that, according to the Census of 1920, Charles Albert Britcher, Jr. (1915-1984) and Ada Ruth Tonkin (1914-1992) were neighbors on McClure Avenue in Swissvale, PA.

census-of-1920-detail

The note says they were neighbors in Wilkinsberg, but Swissvale is nearby, one township over.

Charles’ family lived in 7244 McClure Avenue and Ruth’s family lived in 7244 1/2 McClure Avenue. In the below image we see that the lattice work behind little Charles is still a feature of this dwelling, though mostly covered by plants:

house-detail-from-google-earth

Charles was the only child of Charles, Sr. (1884-1965) and Margaret Elizabeth Yentsch (1887-1964). He married Dorothy Elizabeth Lind (1919-2005) and they had three children. Here is Charles’ portrait in the Allderdice High School yearbook, “The Allderdice,” from 1933:

1933-yearbook-detail

Ruth, as she was known, and the order of her given names was often confused, is not the subject of our found photograph, but aren’t you a little bit interested in her? Ruth was the daughter of Ellsworth NMI Tonkin (1883-1944) and Ada May Quick (1888-1969). She married William Digby Cecil, Sr, in 1947 and they had one son. Ruth went to Edgewood High School which closed in the 1980’s. Edgewood is the little township tucked in between Swissvale and Wilkinsburg. It would be great to have a photograph of Ruth and Charles together, and perhaps one is out there somewhere. We’ll have to settle for this image of Ruth from her University of Pittsburgh yearbook, “The Owl,” when she was a senior in 1936:

ada-ruth-tonkin-university-of-pittsbh-photo-detail

 

 

Charles Albert Britcher, Jr

The Hein Brothers’ Baby Book

I found the baby book for the brothers Henry Leonard Hein (1919-2006) and Charles Leroy Hein (1921-2010) in an antique store in the Baltimore neighborhood of Hampden in early 2016. Here is the front cover:

Hein book cover

Their parents were Ernest Henry Hein (1898-1960) and Louise Irene Hamburger (1898-1993). They had a sister, Irene J. Hein (1924-2016) who married Alfred J. Lipin (1920-2012). All three children grew up to be very accomplished, civic-minded adults and important members of the Glen Bernie, MD community. You can read their obituaries here: Henry, Charles, and Irene.

Ernest’s parents were John Hein (1865-??) and Anna Catherine Grothy (1864-1926) who were born in Germany, married in 1887, and arrived to the USA in 1888. Online records create a confused mess of the family’s genealogy. John appeared in the 1900 Census. By the 1920 Census Anna, AKA Annie, had been married to Adolph Schohl (1873-1956) for five years. In the 1920 Census all seven of John’s children were enumerated with the surname Schohl. Adolph and Anna had two children together. One key to getting to the bottom of this is that Anna’s son John G. Hein (1890-1920) is buried near his mother in the Schohl plot at Cedar Hill Cemetery in Brooklyn Park, MD. According to contemporaneous accounts in The Baltimore Sun, in January 1926 Anna was beaten by someone who robbed her grocery store located on Annapolis Boulevard a mile north of Glen Bernie, MD and died of a fractured skull a few days later. The murderer was never caught.

The nurse on the below page, “Lizzie Hamburger”, was maternal grandmother to the boys, Elizabeth J. UNKN (1859-1930) who married Andrew Leonard Hamburger (1861-1918) in 1897. Both of them were born in Maryland

Hein book baby is born page

That Andrew Leonard Hamburger’s middle name is Leonard can be confirmed only by the following page and not by any online records I could find. Charles’ uncle for whom he was named was actually named Charles Lawrence/Laurence Hein (1899-1967) according to the one record I can find, his WWI draft registration in which the name is written as Lawrence but corrected by a recent researcher to Laurence. I found no one else named Leroy during my brief examination of the family’s genealogy.

Hein Book name page

Here is a photograph of Henry and his parents from June 1919.

Hein book photographs page

Here are two locks of Henry’s hair taken from this first and second haircuts. As frequently happens, the parents’ enthusiasm for this sort of detail waned after the first child.

Hein book hair page

The Mr. and Mrs. Summers referred to below were Ernest’s sister, Marie Hein (1893-1980) and her husband George Wilson Summers, Sr. (1888-1953).

Hein Book baby has an outing

 

The baby book used was illustrated by Meta Ann Morris Grimball (1878-1968). If you’re a Pinterest person you can see a large sample of her work here.

Baby

The following images are the remaining pages in the book and the back cover.

Hein book Baby's First Pair of ShoesHein book Baby Learns to CreepHein book Baby's First WordsHein book Baby's First BirthdayHein book weight pageHein book congratulations page

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The Hein Brothers’ Baby Book

The Bushey Family

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Inscribed on the back of the above photograph are the names of those depicted, the location, and the date:

Father Bushey
Mother Bushey
Clay Bushey
David Bushey
taken at basement door at 134-5th ave
York PA
Dec-1914

I first thought the surname was Busby and it took some trial and error to figure out it was Bushey.

Clay Allen Bushey (1900-1980) and David Diliah Bushey (1902-1963) were two of the sons of Jacob Wesley Bushey (1859-1941) and Cora E. Myers (1872-1906). The other children were Russel Myers Bushey (1895-1970), Earl Wesley Bushey (1897-1987), and Lawrence Wayne Bushey (1906-1907). If the photograph was taken in December 1914 as the inscription says, Mother Bushey must be Jacob’s third wife, Sallie Amanda Straley (1872-1934). Jacob survived three wives, the other one being the first one, Sallie A Brown (1863-1894), with whom he had two other children.

I could not find evidence that the family ever lived at 134 5th Avenue in York, but they lived in the vicinity according to the Census of 1910 and 1920.

It is a confusing family and I have found that genealogists working on it disagree on pertinent facts. For that reason, and because I have to paint a bedroom tomorrow instead of spending more time figuring out the Bushey family, I’m going to post this without a lot of the other information I’ve accumulated. If you’re a Bushey and you want to know more of what I’ve found, give me a holler.

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The Bushey Family

Jay Clark and Elva Ingersoll

You may recall that in my last post, The Students, the subject photograph was inscribed to Jay and the identity of Jay remained a mystery. It turned out that a fellow named Jay Clark is the subject of two other photographs obtained from the same place on the same day.

Look at the following handwriting samples. First, from “The Students”:

Detail from OSC Students back

Now, the new photograph:

Detail from JAY CLARK 1

The two handwriting samples appear to match. They may have been written at the same time with the same pen.

JAY CLARK 1 FRONT

Alexander Jay Clark (1905-1985), who went by Jay, was the son of Clifford Campbell Clark (1879-1968) and Clara Little (1883-1969). Clifford was enumerated in the 1920 Census in Rainier, OR as a “store keeper” and his industry was listed as “Confectionary,” so that sort of dates the photograph. Jay and his brother Albert Campbell Clark (1907-1982) were born in Wisconsin. Their sister, Ruth Marie Clark, was born in 1910 in Whitman County, WA, but survived only two days. Jay married Jimmie Belle Neighbors (1909-1975) in 1932 and they had one daughter. Jay and Jimmie are buried in Mount Union Cemetery in Philomath, OR.

Clifford’s nickname was Jay. Clifford’s father was Adin Jay Clark (1855-1890). Jay had a grandson named Robert Jay.

Elva Marie Ingersoll (1905-1987) married William Douglas Mohney (1900-1981). Elva, William, and two of their three sons are buried in Lincoln Memorial Park in Portland, OR.

Below is another photograph of Jay. According to the inscription on the back it was given to him by the “Lo-Hi-Si Camp Fire Girls.” I could not find that specific camp but you can learn about the Camp Fire organization here.

JAY CLARK 2 FRONT

Following are the reverses of the two photographs. Each one is approximately 2.5 X 3.5 inches. They were bought at an antique store in Baltimore, MD in July 2016.

JAY CLARK 1 BACK

 JAY CLARK 2 BACK

Jay Clark and Elva Ingersoll

The Students

Japanese Students front

The inscription on the front of the above photograph reads, “To Jay, Harry T.” It was probably Jay who wrote the following on the back of the photograph:

Harry Tokito
Ruth Numeura
and two friends
Students on
O.S.C. Campus
1928

The photograph below is Harry A. Tokita as he appeared in the 1928 edition of The Beaver, the yearbook of Oregon State College. Harry was a senior in 1928, majored in commerce, and was a member of the Hesperian Club. My attempts to find out any further information about Harry were fruitless.

1928 Harry A Tokita

I was more successful with Ruth Tokuko Nomura (1907-2008). Below are two photographs of her from The Beaver, one from 1928 (l) and one from 1930 (r).

Ruth was the daughter of Frank Jiro Nomura (1874-1956) and Kiyo Takeda (1882-1980) who were born in Japan and immigrated to the USA in 1903. She married Earl Kazumi Tanbara (1806-1974) in 1935. Ruth and Earl are all over the Internet. Here you can see a triptych by HIRO which celebrates Ruth’s life. Here you can learn about The Earl K. and Ruth N. Tanbara Fund for Japanese American History in Minnesota. Here you can view a 1925 color photograph titled “Ruth Nomura in Japanese Costume” in which Ruth again displays her characteristic hand clasp. It would be worth your time to go here and read Ruth’s and Earl’s very interesting biographies.

Ruth and Earl are buried in Lakewood Cemetery in Minneapolis, memorials 123169220 and 123169184, as are her parents and two of her brothers.

I was unable to positively identify the other two students in the photograph, and Jay’s identity remains a mystery.

Below is the reverse of the photograph which measures 3.5 X 2 inches. I purchased it at an antique store in Baltimore, MD in July 2016.

Japanese Students back

The Students

Ophelia’s Children

O'Neil Sykes Group front

The ladies and gentleman in the above photograph are probably four of William Thomas O’Neil and Ophelia Young O’Neil‘s five children. I qualify that statement because one of the ladies is not named in the inscription on the back (below). Also unclear is which daughter is which.

We can positively identify Henry Edward O’Neil (1876-1923). In Census records and newspaper accounts of Ed’s death there is considerable confusion about his name. Was it Edwin or Edward, was this name first or was Henry first? In spite of good professional and financial fortunes (Saint Regis Falls National Bank president, Saint Regis Falls Light and Power Company president, considerable lumber holdings) his life ended early and tragically. According to press accounts, in April 1923 Ed drove from his home in Saint Regis Falls, NY to Brasher Falls, NY and checked into the Riverside Hotel. That night he went to a dance and returned to his room very late. When he didn’t show up for “dinner” at midday, the hotel owner investigated and found that Ed had hanged himself using bed sheets tied to a bedpost. In The Journal and Republican and Lowville Times of 26 April 1923 it was written that “No reason could be ascribed for his act other than belief he was a victim of despondency.”

Dorothy Grace O’Neil (1891-1969) married Edwin Gilchrist Sykes (1890-1959) in 1917. They operated a dairy and they had three sons.

Florence Louise O’Neil (1885-1976) married Chester Marion Austin (1885-1969) and they had two sons.

Edith O’Neil (1874-1934) married Canadian-born Donald Alexander MacDonald (1862-1935). In 1914 and 1915 Edith was the Assembly District Leader of the Franklin County Suffrage League, a position from which she resigned when she moved to Albany, NY with her husband who was an assemblyman and Conservation Commissioner. Read her “It Is The Indifferent That Oppose Suffrage” in the 15 September 1915 edition of The Norwood News. In 1917 Edith received a patent for “a process for extracting dye from autumn leaves.” According to Sustainable Fashion: Past, Present, and Future by Jennifer Farley Gordon and Colleen Hill, the development of the process, inspired by the stains leaves leave on sidewalks, was timely because WWI had disrupted synthetic dye imports from Germany. Her patent emphasized the fact that fallen leaves were a renewable resource which could be recycled as fertilizer after processing.

Not pictured is the youngest sibling, Arthur S. O’Neil (1893-1965), who married Katherine Russell Warner (1897-1972). They had one daughter. Arthur was president of the Ogdensburg Trust Company in Ogdensburg, NY when he died. His absence from this photograph could be explained by his service in WWI which took him overseas between 26 February 1918 and 6 July 1919. He served in the 41st Engineers and the 13th Battalion of the 20th Engineers.

O'neil Sykes Group back

Ophelia’s Children